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Chocolate Mousse

May 16, 2017 Print this page

Need an easy dessert to impress your friends? Don’t have much equipment? No need to fear, chocolate mousse is here! With a straightforward list of ingredients and little work involved, this treat will both put you at ease and knock the socks off of anyone to whom you serve it.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 4 hr
Yield 4-6 servings

2 cups of heavy whipping cream

3 egg whites

1/3 cup of sugar

6 ounces of good dark chocolate, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Directions

Place a medium/large bowl and a whisk in the fridge. Let chill for 30 minutes.

Remove the bowl and whisk, then add the heavy cream. Beat vigorously until stiff peaks form and the cream holds its shape, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

No whisk? No problem. Chill a glass jar with a screwable lid for 30 minutes, then pour cream in up to the halfway mark. Screw the lid on tight and shake vigorously until the cream stops making sloshing noises. If you open the lid and see that the cream has thickened, you’re done! If not, keep going. This method might sound silly, but trust me, it works in a pinch.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks form, about 7 to 8 minutes. (If you don’t have a whisk, you can use a fork. It will be a pain in the butt, but it will get the job done.) Then add the sugar and continue beating until still peaks form, about 5 minutes longer.

In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate over medium-low heat until smooth. (You can also do this in a bowl in the microwave.) Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Pour the chocolate into a large bowl. Gently fold in the egg white/sugar mixture with a spatula, going slowly as not to disrupt the aeration you’ve just created. Once only a few streaks of egg white remain, add the whipped heavy cream and vanilla. Continue folding gently until no streaks of white remain.

Put the bowl with the chocolate mousse in the fridge to chill for at least an hour, preferably four hours or longer.

Spoon the chocolate mousse into bowls or serving cups. Garnish with more whipped cream, berries and/or cocoa powder. Serve chilled.


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Mississippi Mud Pies

April 28, 2014 Print this page

When I was younger, my parents and I would often go out to dinner at a restaurant called the Ash Creek Saloon. It was kinda a cheesy place with wood everything and lots of cowboy hats, but as I recall, the food was pretty good.  The restaurant is gone now, but the one thing I still have a concrete memory of was the Mississippi Mud Pie. I only have flashes of Oreo cookie crumbs and sticky chocolate syrup, but I remember that it was really, really good. This is a healthier and more sophisticated version.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 4 hr
Yield 3 good-sized mud pies

FOR THE CRUST:

2 cups of walnuts

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

A pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar)

FOR THE COFFEE CREAM:

1 cup of cashews, soaked overnight

1/2 cup of strongly-brewed coffee (preferably decaf)

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar)

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

A pinch of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER:

The coconut cream from 2 cans of coconut milk (put them in the fridge overnight, tip upside down, and pour out the “water” on the bottom)

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar)

A pinch of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SHELL:

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Directions

FOR THE CRUST:

Pour the walnuts, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the walnuts are finely ground but nowhere near turning buttery, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar, if you prefer) and process for another 30 seconds until everything sticks together in a nice, firm dough.

If you find your crust is too liquid-y, add in more walnuts. If you find it is too dry, add more maple syrup.

Line 3 mini spring-form pans (or ramekins if you don’t have them) with a circle of parchment paper. Using your fingers, squish 1/6 of the crust into each of the pans, using up only half of your total crust. Spread it out so there are no holes and everything is in one uniform layer.

Pop those guys in the freezer while you make the coffee cream layer.

FOR THE COFFEE CREAM:

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the cashews with the coffee, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. Blend until homogeneous and creamy, about 1 minute.

Take the spring form pans out of the freezer and evenly divide the cashew mixture among the three of them. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth them out, then pop them back into the freezer for at least 3 hours to firm up. This is crucial!

After your spring form pans have been in the freezer for 3 hours with the cashew base, take them out and evenly divide the rest of the crust mixture among the pans.

Applying very gentle pressure, spread the crust out so it completely covers the layer of cashew cream. If you press too hard, you’ll have a mess–so be very, very careful.

Pop those bad boys back in the freezer while you make the light, fluffy chocolate layer.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER:

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the coconut cream with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Blend just to combine (only about 15-20 seconds), then taste and adjust if necessary.

Take the spring form pans out of the freezer (again) and divide the fluffy chocolate layer evenly among the three pans. Pop in the freezer for at least another hour.

Take the pans out of the freezer after the hour has elapsed. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, then pour 1/3 of it over the top of each pie, using a fork or spoon to spread it out.

Put back in the freezer overnight. The next day, de-mold the Mississippi Mud Pies and store in the fridge for a softer dessert or freezer for a firmer sweet treat.

Enjoy!


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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

March 13, 2014 Print this page

A pie celebrating the marriage of two of my favorite ingredients: chocolate and peanut butter. It’s like a party in your mouth, and indulgence was certainly invited.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 6 hr 15 min
Yield 1 9-inch pie (about 10-12 servings)

FOR THE CRUST:

1 1/2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats (substitute almonds/walnuts/buckwheat for grain-free)

1 1/2 cups of pitted dates

1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter (substitute sunflower seed butter for paleo)

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

A pinch of salt

FOR THE FILLING:

2 cups of whole, raw cashews

1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter (substitute sunflower seed butter for paleo)

1/4 cup of coconut oil

1/2 of a large avocado

2 cups of soft pitted dates

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

1/3 cup of water, plus more if needed

1/2 cup of good-quality cacao powder

FOR THE DRIZZLE:

1 tablespoon of coconut oil, melted

2 teaspoons of smooth peanut butter (substitute sunflower seed butter for paleo)

Cacao nibs or dark chocolate curls, to garnish

Directions

Soak the cashews with enough warm water to cover them completely for at least 3 hours and up to 6. If you soak the cashews for too long, they’ll be slimy and gross; if you don’t soak them for long enough, your blender or food processor will make so much noise your cats will run for cover. Moral of the story: soak wisely.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the oats, dates, smooth peanut butter, cinnamon, and salt until the texture of coarse sand. The ingredients should hold together very easily when touched, and no crumbs should flake off; when in doubt, add another date or two or another tablespoon of peanut butter.

Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and refrigerate for an hour.

Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Give them a gentle rinse over, and throw into the blender or food processor with the peanut butter, coconut oil, avocado, dates, maple syrup, and water. Process or blend until smooth.

Pour in the cacao powder and process or blend until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor bowl if necessary.

Now, it’s time to examine the texture. If it’s like a thick pudding, you’re good to go. If it’s more like raw cookie dough, keep adding water–a little bit at a time–to get it smoother and creamier. If it’s too liquid-y, add more peanut butter or dates.

Once your desired texture has been reached, take the crust out of the fridge and pour the filling on top, taking care to scrape the bowl’s sides. Put back in the fridge overnight, or freeze for at least four hours.

When ready to serve, combine the coconut oil with the peanut butter, and stir to combine. Using the stirring spoon, drizzle the peanut butter-and-oil mixture all over the top of the pie. Because the pie will be cold, the drizzle will solidify almost immediately, creating a cool pattern.

To enhance the prettiness factor, sprinkle the top with cacao nibs or dark chocolate curls, if you’re feeling fancy. Serve cold.


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Chocolate Mousse Pie

October 27, 2013 Print this page

This pie is super allergy-friendly, and because of the avocados, it’s vegan, too. WHAT?! Avocados, I said?! Trust me, they work fantastically.

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr 13 min
Cooking Time 17 min
Total Time 2 hr 30 min
Yield 1 pie (8 large servings)

FOR THE CRUST:

5-6 small dates

1/2 cup of water

1 cup of almond flour

1/2 cup of almond slivers

2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan

A pinch of salt

FOR THE MOUSSE:

4 ounces of dark chocolate

4 very ripe avocados

1/2 cup of good quality cocoa powder

1/3 cup of raw coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup)

A few drops of liquid stevia (optional)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk (optional)

Directions

FOR THE CRUST:

A few hours before you want to bake the crust, soak the dates in the water to soften them.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a spring-form pan with coconut oil.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, almond slivers,cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, the dates, and salt until no clumps remain, about 2 minutes. Scoop everything out, form it into a ball, and press it to the bottom of the spring-form pan, using your hands to flatten it and spread it to the corners.

Bake until fragrant and beginning to darken in color, about 17 minutes.

Let the crust chill in the freezer while you make the chocolate mousse. It shouldn’t take very long; but don’t exceed more than 30 minutes in the freezer. 

FOR THE MOUSSE:

In a small saucepan or in the microwave with 30 second intervals, melt the dark chocolate.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, process the avocados until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.

To the blended avocados, add the good-quality cocoa powder, raw coconut nectar, stevia (if you want it sweeter), vanilla extract, and the melted chocolate. Blend until no green remains in the bowl, about 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk if it’s too thick for your taste.

Take the crust out of the freezer and pour the mousse on top of it. Smooth it evenly on top of the crust with a spatula, and let sit in the fridge until set, at least 2 hours and preferably 4 or 5.

When you’re ready to eat, take the mousse pie out of the fridge and carefully separate the pan’s bottom from the sides. Transfer to a cutting board, slice, and serve.


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Open-Face Strawberry Tartelette

October 26, 2013 Print this page

It’s like a tarte tatin…but with strawberries! Yummy!

Ingredients

Prep Time 30 min
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 1 hr 10 min
Yield 1 large tartelette (about 8 servings)

FOR THE DOUGH:

1 cup of tapioca flour

1/4 cup of coconut flour

A pinch of salt

6 tablespoons of cold ghee (can be substituted with butter or palm shortening)

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons of raw coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup)

FOR THE FILLING:

1 pint of fresh strawberries

2 tablespoons of ghee (can be substituted with butter or coconut oil)

3 tablespoons of raw coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup)

1 tablespoon of all-fruit strawberry jam

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust it lightly with tapioca flour and set aside.

FOR THE DOUGH:

Whisk together the tapioca flour, coconut flour, and salt in a large bowl until well-combined.

With your fingers, break up the cold ghee 1/2 teaspoon-sized drops. Squeeze and pinch the ghee into the dry ingredients until the texture of a chunky sand—it should hold together but crumble slightly when you pick it up.

Using a spatula, stir in the egg and the raw coconut nectar. Roll the dough up into a ball, cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool to the touch but not solid as a brick, about 15 to 30 minutes.

FOR THE FILLING:

Slice up a pint of fresh strawberries and set aside in a medium-sized bowl.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the ghee, raw coconut nectar, and all-fruit strawberry jam over medium-low heat until it begins to boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook until syrupy, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Pour this mixture over the strawberries and stir to combine.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Remove the dough from the fridge and take off the plastic wrap. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and roll it into a 9” by 12” rectangular oval. If you get a little rip, press it back together; it you get a huge rip, squish it back together and start over.

Scoop 2/3 of the strawberry mixture into the center of the dough, leaving about an inch all around. Gently fold the edges on top of the strawberries and brush the crust with some of the remaining strawberry mixture’s syrup.

Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for at least 15 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board for serving.

Top with some coconut cream with some of the leftover strawberries stirred in.


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